Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The University may disclose certain personally identifiable information, designated as directory information, concerning students in attendance. The following categories of information have been designated as directory information: the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational institution attended. Any student who does not wish directory information released must so inform the Registrar’s Office in writing within 30 days after the start of the fall semester. In any event, the University may disclose directory information from the record of an individual who is no longer in attendance at the University without public notice or prior permission.

Under Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, students have the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days after making a request. The procedures for making such requests are available in the various offices where these records are maintained.

  • Academic: Registrar, Holy Family Hall
  • Admissions: Undergraduate Admissions Building and Holy Family Hall
  • Financial Accounts: Office of Student Accounts, Holy Family Hall
  • Judicial Records: Residence Life and Dean of Students, Campus Center
  • Student Aid: Financial Aid, Holy Family Hall

The student has the right to challenge the content of his or her educational record and may, if necessary, request a formal hearing on the matter.

The University shall obtain the written consent of the student before disclosing personally identifiable information from the educational records, except if the disclosure is to instructional, administrative or other authorized individuals, including representatives of approval or accreditation agencies. A record of all disclosure, other than to the subject student, will be maintained by the appropriate office and may be reviewed by the student.

A more complete description of the guidelines prepared for compliance with the act is available in the Office of the Registrar at all times.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student’s education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including the Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to a student’s records and PII without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.

Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to the student’s education records and PII without the consent of the student to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive the student’s PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student’s consent PII from the student’s education records, and these State Authorities may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

* The University is not required to permit a student to inspect the financial statements of parents.

** Evaluations of nursing and education students are retained in their departmental offices.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
  • To comply with the Solomon Amendment (requiring the disclosure of certain information to military recruiters)

Student Rights Under FERPA

Right of Inspection and Review

  1. Current and former students have the right to inspect and review their Education Records within 45 days of the date that the University receives a request for access.
  2. A request that identifies the Education Record(s) to be reviewed or inspected must be submitted in writing by the student to the University Registrar, a Dean, a Chair, or other appropriate University School Official. That School Official will make arrangements for access to the records with the University Registrar and will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the School Official to whom the request was made, that School Official shall advise the student of the correct individual to whom the request should be made.

Right to Request Amendment of Education Record

The University provides a student with an opportunity to request an amendment to the contents of an Education Record which they consider to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights. A School Official who receives such a request will coordinate with the University Registrar and they will decide within a reasonable period of time whether corrective action consistent with the student's request will be taken. The student must be notified of the decision. If the decision is in agreement with the student's request, the appropriate record(s) must be amended. A student who is not provided full relief sought by their challenge must be informed by the appropriate School Official, in writing, of the decision and their right to a formal hearing on the matter.

Right to Consent to Disclosure of Education Records

The University will disclose information from a student's Education Records only with the written consent of the student, unless one of the following exceptions apply:

  1. Directory Information may be made available to anyone who makes a request for such information, without first notifying the student, unless a Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form is completed by a student while they are enrolled and the form is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
  2. The disclosure is to authorized federal and state representatives for audit or evaluation or compliance activities.
  3. The disclosure is to School Officials that are in the process of carrying out their assigned educational or administrative responsibilities and have a Legitimate Educational Interest. The determination as to whether or not a Legitimate Educational Interest exists will be made by the University Registrar, who serves as the FERPA Officer for the University. When the FERPA Officer has any questions regarding the request, the FERPA Officer should withhold disclosure unless they obtain consent from the student or the concurrence of a supervisor or other appropriate official that the record may be released.
  4. The disclosure is to provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
  5. The disclosure is to maintain the health or safety of the student or others on or off-campus. When the University discloses personally identifiable information under the health or safety emergency exception, the University must record the significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals and the parties to whom the information was disclosed. This documentation must be done within a reasonable period of time after (but not necessarily prior to) the disclosure and must be maintained with the student's education records. This documentation should identify the underlying facts the University relied upon in determining there was a defined and significant threat.
  6. The disclosure is to officials of other institutions in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, as long as the disclosure relates solely to the purposes of the transfer, on the condition that the issuing institution makes a reasonable attempt to inform the student of the disclosure, unless the student initiates the transfer.
  7. The disclosure is in connection with financial aid for which a student has applied or received if the information is necessary for the determination of eligibility, amount and conditions of aid or to enforce the terms and condition of aid.
  8. The disclosure is to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to develop, validate, and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs or to improve instruction, provided that individual identity of students is not made and that the disclosure is restricted to the representatives of the organization that have a legitimate interest in the information. Information may only be disclosed per a written agreement between the University and the organization conducting the study on the University's behalf that:
    • Identifies the purpose, scope, and duration of the study; ii.)
    • Requires the organization to use personally identifiable information from education records only to meet the purpose of the study as noted in the agreement; iii.)
    • Requires that the organization conduct the study in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students by anyone other than representatives of the organization with legitimate interests; and iv.)
    • Requires the organization to destroy or return the personally identifiable information to the University when the information is no longer needed and specifies the time period in which the destruction or return must occur.
    • Requires the organization to use personally identifiable information from education records only to meet the purpose of the study as noted in the agreement;
    • Requires that the organization conduct the study in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students by anyone other than representatives of the organization with legitimate interests; and
    • Requires the organization to destroy or return the personally identifiable information to the University when the information is no longer needed and specifies the time period in which the destruction or return must occur.
  9. The disclosure is to accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
  10. The disclosure is to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully-issued subpoena, provided that the University makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student in advance of compliance. If a contractor receives a subpoena for a student's information, the contractor is required to provide the appropriate notice. The University is not required to notify the student if a federal grand jury subpoena or any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose orders the institution not to disclose the existence or contents of the subpoena. In addition, the University is not required to notify the student if disclosure is necessary to comply with an ex-parte court order obtained by the U.S. Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General concerning certain criminal investigations and prosecutions.
  11. The disclosure is to a victim of an alleged crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, or to the alleged victim's next of kin (if the victim dies as a result of the crime or offense). The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution, regardless of whether the University concluded a violation was committed or not. The University may not require students who are sexual assault victims to sign confidentiality pledges to protect from further disclosure the disciplinary proceedings.
  12. The disclosure is to the parents of a student under 21 years of age who has been found responsible for a violation involving the use or possession of alcohol and/or drugs.

Right to File a Complaint

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue
SW Washington, DC 20202-5920